“The Group Was Beaten and Threatened in Croatia and Then Again in Bosnia”

Visible scratches caused by Croatian special police hitting the respondents face.
  • Date and time: November 12, 2019 22:00
  • Location: Dobrenići, Croatia
  • Coordinates: 45.348475, 15.407517
  • Push-back from: Croatia
  • Push-back to: Bosnia
  • Demographics: 5 person(s), age: 17, 21, 26, 30, 34 , from: Morocco
  • Minors involved? Yes
  • Violence used: beating (with batons/hands/other), kicking, exposure to air condition and extreme temperature during car ride, forcing to undress, destruction of personal belongings, theft of personal belongings, reckless driving
  • Police involved: 3 Croatian regular police, 1 Croatian police van, 7 Croatian police in black uniforms
  • Taken to a police station?: yes
  • Treatment at police station or other place of detention: detention, no translator present, denial of food/water
  • Was the intention to ask for asylum expressed?: Yes
  • Reported by: Border Violence Monitoring, No Name Kitchen

Original Report

On 12the November 2019 a group of five men from Morocco were apprehended in Dobrenići, Croatia at 18.00. There were three Croatian regular police, and when the group separated in an attempt to run away, the officers also separated and pursued the group on foot. One member of the group ran away from the officers and entered a church. He sat down in the church in a prayer position and police followed him inside and escorted him outside. 

All members of the group were transported in a white Croatian police van with no windows in the rear. They were brought to a police station and entered through a back exit. They did not see street signs and are unsure of the exact location because their phones were confiscated by police and held at the front of the van. At the station they were denied food and water. They were not given documents to sign. They were detained for about two hours. 

At approximately 20:00 the group was transported from the police station in a white Croatian police van with no windows. The respondent notes that the driver made wide turns and reckless driving caused them to feel nauseous. At approximately 22.00 the van stopped and the group was forced to exit. Seven Croatian police in black uniforms searched their pockets and confiscated mobile devices and money. Officers forced the respondents to undress by taking off their jackets and removing their shoes. The officers beat the group with batons on their knees and shins. Some of the men were also hit on their faces. One member of the group had visible marks along his nose and close to his eye.

Visible scratches caused by Croatian special police hitting the respondents face.

The officers kicked them as they told them to:

“Go back to Bosnia.”  

After being pushed back into Bosnia the group walked back to Velika Kladuša and found an abandoned home to sleep in. While they were sleeping four men entered the house by kicking the door open. Inside the house one man fired a pistol and another man fired a shotgun from outside the house. The respondents jumped out of the second story window (suggested to be about five meters from the ground). One member of the group injured his ankle. When they jumped out of the window the group left the remainder of their belongings inside. The men who entered the house confiscated their bags.